Autumn in Yosemite National Park

This video floated into my inbox. I subscribe to a ton of newsletters (they go nicely with morning coffee). The cinematography is stunning. The autumnal colours are captivating. I found the music to be haunting and majestic. Here’s a poem I wrote up real quick about the video:

Drawn in

Transported into emptiness and expanse

Welcomed, invited, abandoned

Of the past, In the now, somewhere

Sadness in solitude, grateful for peace

Lost in the mist over Yosemite.

Autumn in Yosemite National Park from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Another weekly photo challenge that has more than one meaning for me. “Foreign” was definitely how I felt in 2007 during our trip to China to bring Soph home. Being in a country where I had no idea of the language except to say “hello” and “thank you” and thrown into parenting a 22-month old – totally foreign at the time!

Strange days at home

Scary things are happening in my house this week.

My dining room has been hit by a poltergeist hellbent on redecorating the dining room. The Banshee (she, being me) has decided orange is no longer OK year round and it’s time to reap in the Harvest Brown (Behr).

No room to dine in the dining room (or in the design world, “Before”).

And here’s Frankenstein. Actually, it’s just me just removing the screws from the switch plates and I had nowhere to put them down.

“…nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose…”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Lastly, we’re waiting for 30-page government form from hell to ghost through Customs and Immigration Canada so we can get our letter of approval and start planning our trip to Thailand to bring home baby girl #2 just in time for Christmas!!!!! This is both scary and phantasmal-y fantastic news for our family.


If you’re dead tired, try the Dead & Breakfast Inn

It’s pretty rare to find a seriously well-decorated house around this time of year. I’ve had enough of those plastic oh-dear-the-witch-flew-into-the-window decals. Well there was one house around the corner that was well done. Fog, tombstones, candles and the Big Bad Wolf lurking under a tree:

Can you spot the wolf?

And just this week I drove past the charming Dead & Breakfast Inn but, you guessed it: No Vacancy:

Actually Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. I’ll take it over Valentine’s and St Paddy’s days. See, Halloween = candies and chocolates. No need for flowers, unless they’re black roses. St Paddy’s day = drink and wear green, but on Halloween you can drink your face off and paint your face Frankenstein green and eat candies and chocolates.

Cat’s pee on a gooseberry bed

“I’m socially awkward and I will pee on things when I’m mad or scared because I don’t have the guts to meet new people.”

Nope, not introducing a new blend of Australian wine just one of my cats who will, on occasion, pee on something when it suits her angry fancy.

Is it possible for a pet to be reincarnated into another pet? Or a deceased cat who passes on almost every aspect of its personality onto the new kitten(s)?

I’m thinking yes.

Take our old cat, Holmey (Boobs named her. Yes, her). She was a great pet. A fluffy, petite black cat with yellow eyes and who was very friendly, at least with Boobs and I. She liked playing fetch, she’d cuddle at the end of the bed nearly every night, and she’d sit on my lap. She never climbed on the counters, she never ate anything she wasn’t supposed to. But, she was a big chicken. When she was mad, she’d pee on something. Like the time Boobs’ dad left the basement door closed and we came home that night to find poop by the front door. Or when she peed in Boobs’ hockey bag, probably protesting how bad it smelled. Didn’t happen too often but it’s a super #@#$ to make sure you get rid of.

Honestly, we failed as first-time cat parents. She wasn’t socialized enough as a kitten – stuck in an apartment with Boobs and only ever having one visitor (me). She didn’t like newcomers and always made a wide berth around Soph. We miss her though and sometimes when Soph’s feeling overly emotional (usually at bedtime) she’ll say she misses Holmey.

About a year and a half before Homey left us, we brought Sally and Marie home. One fluffy and one sleek. Both black. Sally acts like Holmey in every way, minus the lap sitting and bed cuddling, but the other cat will do both. Sally will run upstairs when the door bell rings (check), she slinks away the same way Holmey did. She hides in the same spots she used to. She plays fetch (check). Check, check, check.

I had to get out of bed at 6:30am this morning because Soph came into our room with a message that Sally pooped on the guest bed. I’d had a crappy sleep anyway so I got up to clean up. Got rid of the poop only to find out she’d peed there too. More than once. All thanks to the workmen we’ve had in the basement over the last 4 days because she was too afraid to go down to use the litter box.

I told my friend that I was going to publicly shame Sally on FB but she sent me a funny link that does the job. Go on, Shameyourpet.

Note: not my pet. Source: via Becky on Pinterest

Check out this book on pet pee poetry and other stories by cats. It’s funny because it’s true:

Source: via Becky on Pinterest

Nature served at the Devil’s Punchbowl

Last weekend Soph and I went for a hike with friends. Boobs was in a baseball tournament but even if he was free, I don’t think I could’ve dragged him out of bed. He’s sporty, but not outdoorsy. WTF? Honestly, shouldn’t those two things go together?

Our trail guide was my BFF’s husband, who volunteers for the Bruce Trail Association. He knows everything there is to know about his home trail, from local trivia to “dead man’s finger” (it’s a fungus) Try and stump him. You won’t win. He’ll even catch salamanders with his cat-like reflexes.

It was a warm, wet day. We made our way through the trail and ended up at the Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area. It’s an amazing, natural feature. The waterfall wasn’t flowing that day and we were able to walk around at the bottom, but at times it flows from 37 metres high. The devil himself carved this crevice into the rocky Stoney Creek Escarpment long ago. Just kidding, it was formed at the end of the last Ice Age by the rushing torrents of melting ice. Did you know that Hamilton is the waterfall capital of the world?

Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Now, onto this week’s photo challenge that has a double meaning for me.

Big: the Great Wall of China.

Big deal: being able to travel overseas to China to, not only bring home our daughter, Soph, but that we also had the chance to see some “big” sights during our stay.

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Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

Gah! I’m late in posting my weekly photo challenge. I have been preoccupied though (see previous post on how I lost potential job and still get mad when I think about it).

Oh, AND, that 30-page government form I didn’t fill out and was avoiding simply because it was so overwhelming to tackle and now I have to get it done “yesterday” because things are happening with our adoption now – not a year from now – has come back to haunt me. “Ach, it won’t be for another year,” we thought to ourselves. Procrastination, Becky is thy name.

Anyway, I love this week’s photo challenge: a gallery of what makes you happy. OK, so here’s mine:

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One banana, two banana…. nope, just one

And now I will attempt to make banana muffins, using only one banana. Yes, it is possible!

Why one? Because it was the only one in the bunch that didn’t get eaten. Why didn’t it get eaten? Because I left it in my purse over Thanksgiving weekend and it turned all black and unappetizing.

Why make banana muffins using only one banana out of a black and unappetizing looking banana? Because I like banana muffins and you’re supposed to use a ripe banana.

Here’s the recipe I found: